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Thomas Creek Stillwater Vanilla Cream Ale - Thomas Creek Brewery

Not Rated.
Thomas Creek Stillwater Vanilla Cream AleThomas Creek Stillwater Vanilla Cream Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

72 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 72
Hads: 162
Avg: 3.2
pDev: 28.44%
Wants: 8
Gots: 11 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Thomas Creek Brewery visit their website
South Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Cream Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: aracauna on 04-26-2004

23 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 72 | Hads: 162
Photo of kelsietate
1.41/5  rDev -55.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

If this was part of a blind taste test beside um, "light beers", I'm not sure that I could tell the difference. Very pale yellow in color. Watery taste, no hint of vanilla.

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Photo of dowen17
1.46/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clear piss yellow like cream soda. Two finger, VERY foamy, white head with low retention and some lacing.

Not much on the smell. A very small hint of vanilla on the nose. Other than that it smells like any other cheap beer you'd buy at a gas station. It's pretty repulsing, actually.

Taste is watery. Not really picking up any vanilla. Slightly bitter and not much going on for it. I don't understand the "vanilla ale" name at all.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated. Watery. Again, nothing special.

For this to be a "vanilla ale" it tastes just like any cheap beer you'd buy. Definitely wouldn't seek out/buy again. Only tasted because a buddy had some. If you like cheap beer I guess this is okay. The name is pretty deceiving for what it is.

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Photo of YellowHammer
1.86/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

-Smells almost like a Coors Light.
-White head with no lacing.
-Taste is disappointing, no vanilla cream that you'd expect. The vanilla is basically nonexistent. This beer honestly tastes and smells almost like a Coors Light.

Overall a misleading beer which is very drinkable but not something that you'd savor. Its almost a funnel beer.

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Photo of brutusmuktuk
1.88/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Light golden color with no head. The aroma is a combination of vanilla and creamy malts that give it a strange, skunky sweet smell. There is a very light hint of vanilla and some light bitterness, but overall very little flavor. This is a shame because I tend to love vanilla, but so far no luck in a beer.

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Photo of shand
1.91/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

This is a bad beer. This is a really bad beer. One of the worst I've had in a long time. It's got a decent enough golden body, but everything is far downhill from there. The aroma is generic, "wet dog", beer, with a huge artificial vanilla note messing everything up. The taste? Ugh. Not good. Not good at all. I can kinda taste the cream ale thing going on. It's not a good cream ale base, I'd take a Genny any day over it. And then you add in that big vanilla note, that big, fake tasting vanilla that doesn't even go with the base beer, and you have a prescription for bad times.

Don't buy this beer. It's not good. Nothing about it works, I had to chug it while it was still cool because I knew there was no way it would get better with temperature. Anderson Valley Summer Solstice does everything this beer is trying to do, but with a million times more aplomb.

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Photo of elvislwyr
2.33/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours clear yellow into a glass, two shades brighter than straw. Not much head. Not much to get excited about.

S: The bouquet is faint and floral. No vanilla detected to my nose.

T: Cloying citrus, not much complexity, a finish distinctly reminiscent of lesser American adjunct lagers in its graininess. If vanilla is present, it is very light, not even an undertone.

M: Nothing unexpected here. Average carbonation, slightly on the dry side of the spectrum.

O: Doesn't bear much resemblance to an ale, to me. Much closer to a typical American adjunct lager. Not much here I would want to revisit.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.48/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a clean pale yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, vanilla and somewhat creme soda like. In the taste, a small sweetness and a small vanilla presence. A small bite and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry vanilla cream soda like aftertaste. Looks like a pils, tastes like a cream soda poured into a lighter ale.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
2.52/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma is fairly strong and mainly of wilting lettuce - not too promising. It pours a clear straw yellow with a rather typical fluffy white head. Flavor is malty, a bit wan - not what I expect from Thomas Creek; I have enjoyed the other beers from this brewery that I have tried. Texture is fairly smooth and fizzy, about average.

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Photo of Paincane
2.53/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Golden colored brew poured into pint glass produces a short-lived white head that has good retention and leaves moderate amount of lace.
S: Not much nose. Hint of vanilla with grain.
T: Grain, no cream. A little vanilla but it is there if you really try. Bitter, slightly tart finish that lingers for a bit.
M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation.
O: Disappointing and a bit of a misnomer. Lacked in vanilla or cream. I would not seek this one out again.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
2.56/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I poured this beer into a glass stein.

Appearance- The body is a pale golden yellow with a decent amount of carbonation columns. The head was about a half-finger in width before settling in at a slight, white film for a cap.

Smell- There is a big note of burnt grain on the nose, not subtle, and not appealing. I wish there was more to this head than that, but there is nothing.

Taste- Some bittering hops at the start, maybe some earthy note to it. Any vanilla or other biscuit quality I would have expected to really punch through in the middle to the finish, but no such luck!

There is some grain and roasted grain in the finish of the beer, maybe just a little bit of biscuit malt, but vanilla? I really, really wish there had been.

Mouth feel- The feel is pretty good to be honest. The body of the beer is balanced, not too light or heavy, and the creaminess is pretty good. It is not filling up the mouth, but it goes down pretty easily.

It is really that burnt grain that is taking away from the finish, not what has been done with the carbonation in the beer.

Overall- For as interesting as this one sounded, it did not deliver in the slightest. The nose had little to offer but burnt grain.

The taste was also a huge let down. Vanilla is virtually non-existent, and what is left, well, does not make for a very good drinking experience. No matter how tempted you are, this one can be avoided.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.57/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter on 12/6/11

Thanks to PDXHops

Timid golden yellow that has a shine to it in the light. A one thumb head doesn't last long, surrendering to a patch of bubbles and some haphazard trails of lace.

The aroma is weird and kind of off putting. Notions off vanilla taffy, marshmallow and dust swim in a pool of syrupy corn. Something makes me think "burnt citrus," whatever that means. As it starts to warm the nose shifts in favor of the vanilla and marshmallow, so that's nice.

Flavor-wise, this is pretty uneventful. Grainy and resembling the use of adjuncts; some grassy hops are strewn about, too. Vanilla is very mild and artificial.

Easily on the light side of the feel spectrum with moderate carbonation biting here and there. The finish is dry and has a lingering dirty presence that I don't care for; it sticks to the palate.

Overall impression - not outright terrible, but this isn't all that impressive. Maybe a decent summer beer or something.

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Photo of xfactor9600
2.65/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: clear pale yellow. Some head.

Smell: a slight vanilla flavor that wasn't a poignant as I was expecting

Taste: a sweet concoction of hops and vanilla. Not what I was expecting or hoping for. In some sips the vanilla would come through more than others.

Mouthfeel: a light feel that did not feel well carbonated.

Drinkability: Ok, in a one or two bottle setting at most. I could not picture myself getting again, but would drink at someone's house.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of PDXHops
2.67/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a shaker pint.

Pours a hazy gold with a rather large fluffy, creamy head of uneven height. Excellent retention and lacing.

Aroma is very reminiscent of a cream soda, but with the addition of a vague graininess. The vanilla flavor is quite strong, threatening to drown out the crisp light grains and gentle hop bite toward the swallow.

Overall impression: Would prefer the vanilla to be toned down a bit, but a tasty, refreshing brew.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.7/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a light straw color. The head is a finger high and white in shade. Retention isn't very impressive, and a decent amount of lacing is left on the glass. (3)

Smell: I pick up a weak bubblegum note first and foremost. A touch of vanilla comes through after opening up a bit; so does its grainy malt backbone. Like most cream ales, it's dead simple, but there are no significant flaws, either. The vanilla - though subtle - is nice. (3)

Taste: There's a bigger vanilla note on the palate. In fact, wow, there's a lot of vanilla. Also in fact, it's a pretty one-note brew: the cream ale base is rather nondescript. If nothing else, I'm mildly impressed how the vanilla isn't disgustingly artificial. (2.5)

Mouthfeel: Being a cream ale, it's relatively full-bodied and creamy (NO WAY.) But the addition of vanilla makes it too sweet for me. Carbonation is high, but again, it's not as drinkable as it could/should be. (2.5)

Overall: Due to being entirely one-note, I can't give it a very good score. But, it does showcase vanilla respectably well (at the cost of everything else...) Who knows, some out there will like this one. (2.75)

2.68/5: Want to taste nothing but vanilla? Here's your beer!

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Photo of kkipple
2.75/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap in Columbia, SC during a "Meet the Brewer" session where the Thomas Creek rep was present.

It's a pale clear golden beer, with a small white head. Nothing out of the ordinary for the style, really.

Smell? Was there a smell? I was just hit in the face by a vanilla club. I look at the glass again; are they sure they didn't pour from the vanilla extract bottle? Wow, this is intense. After a few more sniffs, there *may* be some hops cowering behind the 900 pound vanilla-beast, but they're hiding pretty well.

Taste? You mean, besides vanilla? The vanilla is running rampant through my mouth, finding the mild malts and anemic hops and terminating their worthless existence. The vanilla roars back again in my throat as I take another swallow, providing a very sweet aftertaste. My notes say "mostly vanilla. Cream Soda." Yep.

This is the most soft-drink like beer I've ever drunk. The mouthfeel has the exact carbonation of a cream soda, and it's sweet like one too. The sweetness and dominating vanilla really limits the drinkability on this one. They could lose half the vanilla and it'd still be more than enough.

Should you try it? Well, I still agree with my notes. This is the cream soda of beers. Make of that what you will.

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Photo of iheartmyTHO
2.79/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I was hoping for this beer to have a nice vanilla taste, but I was sadly disappointed. There's maybe a slight bit of a chemical vanilla taste, but it's not strong at all. Actually, the ale had more of a bubble gum like flavor to me, and that's not something I really seek out in beer.

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Photo of bditty187
2.81/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Hazy, bright yellow-gold in hue with a smattering of bronze; it is a truly lovely color. White head, at the apex the foam was one finger tall. The bubbles quickly faded to a thin, soapy cap. There was some spotty subsequent lacing. I love how this beer looks; it is youthful and glowing, awesome!

The nose is totally unexpected. I smell lemony citrus and nondescript sweetness. I don’t smell vanilla and I don’t smell any corn. Cream Ale? Fooled me. Moderate potency, sadly at the back I smell soap. The nose is inoffensive but it’s not inviting, in fact I am confused and a little leery.

I taste vanilla. I am not a huge fan of vanilla in beer but this is nicely restrained. However, the vanilla tastes like flavored dish soap. No bitterness, no real hop flavors. It is sweet from start to finish, not much development. Where is the citrus coming from? It doesn’t seem like it arrived here from the hops. Cream Ale? BS, I am calling Thomas Creek’s bluff. The palate is odd. Frankly, it’s not that bad; I just don’t really care for it but I am positive others will. The more I drink the more the vanilla lingers. I don’t need more. If nothing else this was a wacky idea executed well enough, I mean, I didn’t gag. Now that is praise!

Medium/medium-light in body, creamy carbonation, the mouthfeel is pleasant. Unfortunately the aftertaste is tacky sweet and persistent. Maybe more effervescence would help clean my tongue. What on earth would this beer pair with?

Maybe the brewery should swap in some spicy/funky Belgian yeast. That combo might actually work! As is, I can’t rightfully enjoy this beer. It’s too sweet, too one-dimensional… too bad. I am surprised this beer is as good as it is, yet I think it could be so much better. Would a true Cream Ale jell with vanilla? I’ll never know! Thanks timtheenchanta for the bottle.

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Photo of aasher
2.86/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I grabbed this one soley because it sounds delicious and sounds refreshing. I haven't had a really light beer in forever. So here goes nothing...it poured a very light and extremely clear golden yellow with a two finger frothy bright white head. It smells of a light lager with the slightest hint of vanilla. The lack of vanilla is actually surprising, despite being an extremely light style in the first place. As it warms it starts to open up a little bit. The vanilla is a little more apparent. The flavor too is disappointing. There is maybe one drop of vanilla per bottle. As it warms, the vanilla is actually apparent in the taste and aftertaste but it is very subtle. This is a cream ale, yes. Is it average? Maybe, maybe. It drinks light but is there really a reason to go back for another sip? Probably not.

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Photo of macrosmatic
2.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a CCB pint glass.

A: Bright gold with some chill haze. One finger of white head over a fairly low amount of visible carbonation.

S: Light pilsner malts, vanilla, a bit sweet, and some almost lager-like fruity yeast esters.

T: Light cracker and pilsner malts, light vanilla undertones that increase noticeably as the beer warms, a bit yeasty with a sweet malty finish. This seems like a lager in a lot of ways.

M: Light body, moderate carbonation sensation. Low alcohol presence, but not a terribly creamy mouthfeel.

O: Not so good. Another miss from Thomas Creek. I've not been impressed with anything I've tried from them, with one notable exception - and this isn't it.

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Photo of scottyshades
3.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a completely transparent yellow/straw color that produces a sparkly pure white, fully carbonated head that retains poorly, but leaves some spotty lacing along the glass. Honestly, it looks like a typical macro lager. Wasn't too impressed, but I like Thomas Creek, so I'll stay positive.

S: A whiff of soft vanilla right off the bat. Smells very much like a cream soda. Also, buttery notes follow a massive dose of lactose that provides that creamy nose. Some twangy, metallic-possibly citrusy notes that are pretty faint, but there. Very one dimensional. No hops present.

T: Pretty similar to the nose. A little lighter than I expected, also much more carbonated than I had hoped for. But still nice and easy to drink, session beer for sure if you like the style (I don't).

MF/D: Heavy carbonation, light body for the style, syrupy tasting/lactose finish that lasts a short while.

Not too bad, but not great, I just happened to pick it up because I was one short in my six-pack and wanted to try something different.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up one of the newly labeled bottles the other day and wanted to give it a try. I had this I think last year but did not really remember much about it so I figured I would give it one more shot. Poured into a pilsner glass it was a nice hazy, light yellow color with a good sized three inch high head of white foam. Very nice carbonation profile with rippling bubbles shooting skyward throughout the session. Decent head retention and some good side glass lace.

The aroma was nice and light, not really much of a hint of anything here with the faintest exception of some light vanilla just kissing the nose, mostly light grain and wheat though. The taste was just the same, very light, with a clean, crisp, and well carbonated light body to it. Light hints of malt mixed in with what seemed like an artificial vanilla flavor, not terrible, just not particularly impressive either. Easily session able, I was unsure if there was even alcohol in this one as it came off so light.

Overall not a bad light, outdoor on a hot day type of beer, but to be honest I have had better. Still though not a bad effort and I would not be terribly opposed to trying it again. Decent effort for sure.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my pint glass a pale yellow with a thin white head on top. Little retention and little lacing. Smells of grains and slight vanilla. Hints of grass in there as well.

The mouth is a little thin, but has a nice carbonation bite. This is a pretty mild, basic cream ale. Some grassy notes mixed with a slight vanilla sweetness. Finishes sweet. Not bad. Pretty refreshing, really.

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Photo of oberon
3.13/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Vintage 301 last night,poured a very ;ight lemony yellow with a tight formed 1/2 finger white that was gone quickly.Faint toasted aromas along with a whiff of vanilla but its quite faint.The mouthfeel was nice and creamy and went down smooth,flavors are pretty heavy handed vanilla and some light toastiness almost like a vanilla wafer.Eh it isnt bad for what it is but its not my thing.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.13/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm actually somewhat surprised with this one. Given my past experience with this brewery, it is a miracle indeed that I even agreed to to try something else from these guys. I understand, however, that TC has totally re-packaged their beer and is brewing with new recipes for a totally new start.
This wasn't an amazing beer. In fact, it was a notch or two above average at best. However, it was leaps and bounds better than anything I had from them in the past. It poured a golden straw colour with a two and a half finger thick frothy, soapy head. CO2 continually streamed upward resulting in terrific head retention. Smell was rather tame sweet malts, a very modest *hint* of vanilla, and bereft of any hops. Taste was somewhat light being mostly sweet malts with a bit of an earthy hop bitterness. The vanilla is very, very subtle indeed. In fact, any perception of vanilla at all is probably my mind fooling my palate. If you handed this to someone in a pint glass without them seeing the bottle and just said it's a cream ale, they'd likely never know that vanilla was involved at all. In the end, a rather forgetable beer that was neither fantastic nor dis-pleasing, but given their history, this is a monumental improvement. Great work Thomas Creek.
*Note* A visit to their website reveals that there are Kent Goldings and Fuggles in this. Okay, I'd believe that. It also says there's Cascade in here, as well. How much? One cone?

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Photo of Bung
3.14/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. Electric yellow pour with just a small layer of white head.

Herbal grassy aroma with just a faint hint of malt and vanilla. Not sure what this should smell like, but it is kind of macro-esque.

Taste is also kind of macro-esque. Very grassy, itty bitty bread and ittier bittier vanilla. I feel like I've got a little Bud breath after this.

Mouthfeel is light, but a lively almost creamy body.

Extreamely drinkable, just not all that enjoyable flavor wise.

The flavor does come out better as this warms.

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Thomas Creek Stillwater Vanilla Cream Ale from Thomas Creek Brewery
75 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.